RALPH WALDO EMERSON: "The materialist, secure in the certainty of sensation, mocks at fine-spun theories, at star-gazers and dreamers, and believes that his life is solid, that he at least takes nothing for granted, but knows where he stands, and what he does. Yet how easy it is to show him, that he also is a phantom walking and working amid phantoms, and that he need only ask a question or two beyond his daily questions, to find his solid universe growing dim and impalpable before his sense."
PHOTOGRAPHER'S DIARY: I've caught myself more than once in the past few years. While visiting a museum for quite different purposes, I sneak off to look over the local collection of Hudson River School paintings. I sympathize with their plight. When is a hill more than hill and when is a picture more than a picture post card? I look at the collection for the broad landscapes. How are they set up? How do they lead the eye? How do they handle tonalities?
Only a very few possess a transcendental vision that strikes me with any force. On the other hand, most of the landscapes of the German painter Casper David Friedrich have grabbed me immediately and become instantly memorable. Their surreal quality makes clear that they are never about a particular place or time. Rather, each is a mindscape for a state of emotion or contemplation.
Friedrich advised: "Close your bodily eye so that you may see your picture first with the spiritual eye. Then bring to the light of day that which you have seen in the darkness so that it may react upon others from the outside inwards."
Of course Friedrich was a genius and ended life insane.